Billionaire investor Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway will enter India's insurance turf as a corporate agent for Bajaj Allianz General Insurance, the companies said in a joint statement from Kolkata on Wednesday.
Berkshire India, which is a Berkshire Hathaway subsidiary, will sell and distribute general insurance products through its online distribution portal and a telemarketing channel on behalf of Bajaj Allianz. It will initially focus on motor insurance.
Berkshire India plans to offer top-of-the-line services at attractive rates in distributing insurance products. If the market is receptive, it will try to expand its product portfolio to include health insurance, life and travel insurance and other personal lines as well.
"We've been tracking the Indian insurance turf for years and are thrilled about the emerging retail insurance opportunity.
Berkshire Hathaway has a successful online and direct distribution model in the US and as corporate agent of Bajaj Allianz, it would like to replicate that success in India," Kara Raiguel, Berkshire India director, said in the statement.
"Buying financial products directly over the internet is a relatively new and growing opportunity in India. We will engage directly with consumers using the online platform to provide insurance products efficiently.
Building an easy to use website and offering a hassle-free way to buy insurance with superior customer service will be the company's core focus," Berkshire India chief executive officer Arun Balakrishnan said, adding, "Bajaj Allianz and Berkshire India share a common goal of providing exemplary customer service."
"BAGI has some 40 corporate agents who contribute nearly 40 per cent of its premium income. The tie-up will help expand our customer base," a Bajaj Allianz spokesman said.